Background:

Renee Zellweger’s (Awesome) Circa 1770 Connecticut Farmhouse For Sale

zellweger_exterior

I’ve driven by this house a couple of times, filled full of envy, so I had to do a quick feature on this one after I noticed it was for sale on another blog, Hooked on Houses.  Renee Zellweger’s historic property in Pomfret, Connecticut has hit the market with an asking price of $1.5M.  It’s a beautiful, Federal-style farmhouse sitting on almost 40 acres.  Being well-acquainted with the historic house market in that area, I think the asking price for this historic estate seems very reasonable, even without the “movie-star-association-factor,” which certainly bolsters its desirability.  I can’t imagine it will last long.

zellweger_mapOne of the most attractive things about this property is the location.  For starters, it’s in a beautiful town in the “Quiet Corner” of Connecticut.  But the setting is what really does the trick — it’s in a wooded area, and the road it’s on (which is a dirt road, if I recall correctly) runs over a bridge, then along a small river, until it arrives at this property &  turns right past the front of the house.  It is difficult to see the house, though, because there is a tall, stone privacy wall (4′ thick?!) in front of the house (Zellweger built it), which kind of detracts from the historic setting, but it certainly makes the property more secluded.  Beyond the gated wall lies 38+ acres, including “fields, woodlands, and beautifully designed gardens,” the circa 1770 Federal farmhouse, a guest house, a “recreation barn” for entertaining, a swimming pool (bleh…I could do without), and, according to the ad, a “helicopter landing area” (I would definitely need that, though).

zellweger_frontThe house, itself, is called “The Cotton Tavern,” which has a more historical ring to it than “The Renee Zellweger Sixth House.”  As one might expect, the house has undergone extensive renovations over the years, but it also appears to have retained a fair amount of original & historical features.  The exterior is still wood clapboard, and the windows are 12 over 12 sash.  The front door has sidelights on either side, with a simple crown pediment, and a Palladian window above.  The front door is even flanked by a couple of oldey-tymey lantern-style lights.  Inside, it appears that there are a fair amount of original/early wide-board plank floors.  I can’t tell if the fireboxes & chimneys have been redone, but there are several fireplaces.

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zellweger_portraitDespite her desire to vacate the town of Pomfret, Zellweger says she is a huge fan, writing that, “Socially, architecturally and aesthetically; [sic] Pomfret is the embodiment of the old fashioned American small town; while it is simultaneously, [sic] a culturally rich and sophisticated community . . . The seasons and landscapes are breathtaking, the quality of life and festive holiday celebrations are of bygone days, and you’ll make more true friends in Pomfret within weeks than you would during a lifetime in most other places.”

I could go on and on about this house, but nah, I’m ready for bed.  But luckily for you, the Realtor who has the property listed, Jonathan Radford of Coldwell Banker in Boston, has an elaborate, 16-page marketing package with lots of pictures, which you can check out in its entirety right here.  So go ahead . . . check out a picture of Renee’s bathtub.

2 Comments

  1. by Catharine D. Fahey, on 02.25.13 @ 11:15 AM

     

    My grandmother, Mary Richards Sloan, owned the Cotton Tavern in the 1940’s, 50’s, 60’s and sold it in 1971 or 1972 I believe. She also owned the Murdock house up the road which she gave to the Murdocks for caring for the tavern house property for so many years. Mary Sloan had also owned the old schoolhouse about a mile away.
    There is/was a corn crib, garage or carriagehouse, was a barn that became a studio after the sale and the creamary looking down on the Quanabog River was transformed into a guest house. Every room in the house (except the bathrooms) orginially had a fireplace in them. The dirt driveway originally came in from the dirt road along the left hand side of the house. Also on the left side of the house in what used to be called “the lower garden” with a stone wall around, is now a pool. It is above the field, above the river but down from the side of the house.
    There used to be a “Boat house’ down the road toward the bridge over the river. My grandmother originally owned the property to the river and on the other side which she gave or sold to the Harrington Farm. The property across the road she gave to Wildlife habitat I believe.
    My mother, Jane Adams Bishop, daughter of Mary Sloan & James Thoburn Bishop, grew up in the this home and loved it dearly! We all did. I am hoping to speak to someone about the porperty and possible access. If you can help me, please contact me! I have many, many pictures from the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, a visit in 1996(?) and can show I spent every summer there as a child. Please help me!

  2. by Michael@HHB, on 03.04.13 @ 11:07 AM

     

    Hi Catharine,

    Thanks so much for sharing the interesting background of this property!! It’s so cool to get an insider’s perspective on its history. Unfortunately, I do not know the status of this listing. I have not seen it actively marketed lately, so perhaps it changed hands already? I assume you have followed the links at the bottom of my article to the Realtor information, but if not, it’s worth a try!!

    Good luck,

    Michael

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